Workplace mental health has received increased attention in recent years, and for good reason. Countless professionals experience some form of mental illness or emotional hardship for which the stigma can be, at times, overwhelming. Hence, the importance for a workplace to prioritise mental health practices!

Let’s go over some statistics from last year!

In 2021, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that the percentage of the adult population facing severe psychological and mental distress was higher in August 2021 (10.1%) than it was before the pandemic (8.4%).

However, the recent national workplace mental health study conducted by SuperFriend showed that more than half (55.1%) of Australian workers said that their workplaces are still not providing any tangible mental health practices and actions. 

This is why it’s increasingly important to encourage workplaces to prioritise practices, policies, and procedures to support employee wellbeing.

Here are 5 ways businesses can implement effective mental health practices!

1. Cultivate a collaborative environment for growth

Encourage collaborative problem-solving in regards to well-being, take those ideas from the team, and make sure they happen. 

Make sure you go beyond the standard post-work drinks, yoga classes, fruit bowls, and employee hotline availability. Don’t just ask and forget. Ask, listen, and implement. 

2. Ensure that responsibilities are managed and delegated properly

In the study conducted by HeadsUp Org and TNS Social Research, one in five Australians (21%) spent their time off work because they experienced work-related stress, anxiety, and depression. 

This situation can be improved by ensuring that their responsibilities at work are delegated properly, and stressors such as heavy workloads, unreasonable deadlines, and unrealistic expectations are managed. 

3. Allow greater flexibility for employees

Canva, an online design and publishing software company, has been one of the most vocal about promoting this kind of culture inside their company.

They implement a hybrid model wherein they focus on flexibility and connection among employees. They want to make sure that their team functions in a way that is most beneficial to them. Their employees don’t have strict requirements in terms of staying in the office, working at home, or both. 

Encouraging this type of culture can help empower not just the team, but also the management because they will feel more comfortable and free.

 4. Promote a safe space, listen, and reach out if possible

It is undeniable that there is still a stigma in some workplaces about mental health, making it difficult for employees/leaders who suffer from mental illness to speak up.

By talking about it in a non-discriminative way and taking part in mental health initiatives, you can make those who are suffering in silence feel that your workplace is a safe space. 

5. Come from a place of love and understanding

This will probably be one of the most underrated mental health practices of all time. By coming from a place of love and understanding, all the other practices will come naturally. 

This will help promote well-being better and make everyone feel supported. It will also encourage an environment with zero discrimination and bullying. 

Want more practical strategies to cultivate a mentally healthy workplace? Check out our workplace happiness and team building resources here.